London, Dec 26 (ANI): Ace Manchester United forward Michael Owen's recent Euro hat-trick has failed to boost his World Cup hopes, as England manager Fabio Capello shrugged off the striker's superb treble against Wolfsburg, raising serious concerns over Owen's fitness.
Capello admits a lack of regular first-team action is standing in the player's way of making it on to the plane to South Africa.
United boss Alex Ferguson left Owen on the bench for the league clash against Aston Villa, which followed his Champions League super show in Germany, The Sun reports.
Capello said: "It is important for all players to play. Michael Owen is one of the best players in England. But if he does not play in every game, it is a problem for me and for him. It will be very important to be fit at the moment I choose the squad."
"He scored three goals but then did not play the next game. He only played the second half. He is good but not so fit. I see Wayne Rooney always plays. But this is Alex Ferguson's decision," he said.
Owen is likely to be a sub again for tomorrow's trip to Hull.
Ferguson wants a swift reverse of the form that has seen two defeats in three games by Villa and Fulham and a slide to four points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.
"The Villa game was a big disappointment. We made enough chances to win it. It was the killer for us in December," Ferguson said. (ANI)